Friday, August 26, 2011

St. Gertrude and the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Our Lord wishes people to pray for the souls in purgatory. He once showed Gertrude a table of gold on which were many costly pearls. The pearls were prayers for the holy souls. At the same time the saint had a vision of souls freed from suffering and ascending in the form of bright sparks to heaven.
In one Vision, Our Lord tells Gertrude that he longs for someone to ask Him to release souls from purgatory, just as a king who imprisons a friend for justice's sake hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend. Jesus ends with:
"I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer."
In another vision she was given the Prayer which Our Lord told her would release 1000 Souls from Purgatory every time it is said with love and devotion. "Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family."

Diary of St. Faustina...on a Soul in Purgatory

1382 + When Sister Dominic [219] died at about one o'clock in the night, she came to me and gave me to know that she was dead. I prayed fervently for her. In the morning, the sisters told me that she was no longer alive, and I replied that I knew, because she had visited me. The sister infirmarian [Sister Chrysostom] asked me to help dress her. And then when I was alone with her, the Lord gave me to know that she was still suffering in purgatory. I redoubled my prayers for her. However, despite the zeal with which I always pray for our deceased sisters, I got mixed up as regards the days, and instead of offering three days of prayer, as the rule directs us to do, by mistake I offered only two days. On the fourth day, she gave me to know that I still owed her prayers, and that she was in need of them. I immediately formed the intention of offering the whole day for her, and not just that day but much more, as love of neighbor dictated to me. 

1383 +  Because Sister Dominic, after her death, gave the appearance of looking so well, some sisters said that perhaps she was only in a coma, and one of the sisters suggested to me that we ought to go and put a mirror to her mouth to see if it would mist, because it would if she were alive. I said all right, and we did as we said, but the mirror did not mist, although it seemed to us as if it had. Nevertheless, the Lord gave me to know how much this had displeased Him, and I was severely admonished never to act again against my inner convictions. I humbled myself profoundly before the Lord and asked His pardon. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Saints on Holy Communion

All the saints have understood by experience the divine marvel of our meeting and our union with Jesus in the Eucharist. They have understood that a devout Holy Communion means being possessed by Him and possessing Him. "He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him" (John 6:57). On one occasion St. Gemma Galgani wrote, "It is now night. Tomorrow morning is approaching, and then Jesus will possess me and I will possess Jesus." It is not possible to have a union of love which is deeper and more total: He in me and I in Him; the one in the other. What more could we want?

"You envy," said St. John Chrysostom, "the privilege of the woman who touched the vestments of Jesus, of the sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, of the women of Galilee who had the happiness of following Him in His pilgrimages, of the Apostles and disciples who conversed with Him familiarly, of the people of the time who listened to the words of grace and salvation which came forth from His lips. You consider fortunate those who saw Him. . . . However, come to the altar and you will see Him, you will feel Him [when received in Communion], you will give Him holy kisses, you will wash Him with your tears, you will carry Him within you like Mary Most Holy."

For this reason the saints desired and longed for Holy Communion with ardent love; for example, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Paschal Baylon, St. Veronica, St. Gerard, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Dominic Savio, St. Gemma Galgani. . . . It is pointless to continue, for one would need to list all the saints.

For example, one night St. Catherine of Genoa dreamed that the following day she would not be able to receive Holy Communion. The sorrow that she experienced was so great that she cried unceasingly, and when she woke up the next morning, she found that her face was all wet from the tears she shed in her dream.

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus wrote a little eucharistic poem, "Desires near the Tabernacle," in which, among other beautiful things, she said, "I would like to be the chalice and adore the Divine Blood therein. I can, however, in the Holy Sacrifice, gather Him in me every morning. My soul is therefore dearer to Jesus, it is more precious than vessels of gold." And how great was the happiness of that angelic Saint when, during an epidemic, daily Communion was given to her!

Diary of St. Faustina...preparing to receive Jesus in Holy Communion

+ 1806  -  I go out to meet Him, and I invite Him to the dwelling place of my heart, humbling myself profoundly before His majesty. But the Lord lifts me up from the dust and invites me, as His bride, to sit next to Him and to tell Him everything that is on my heart. And I, set at ease by His kindness, lean my head on His breast and tell Him of everything. In the first place, I tell Him things I would never tell to any creature. And then, I speak about the needs of the Church, about the souls of poor sinners and about how much they have need of His mercy. 

But the time passes quickly. Jesus, I must go to carry out the duties that are awaiting me. Jesus tells me that there is still a moment in which to say farewell. deep mutual gaze, and we seemingly separate for while; but, in reality, we never do. Our hearts are constantly united. Though outwardly I am distracted b my various duties, the presence of Jesus plunges me constantly in profound recollection.